Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Sox-D-rays Tues 4-18

Just last year Kevin YoukYouk was a role player who, as an understudy to the Rock Meuller, knew the quickest way to Pawtucket better than than the back of his hand. Just last year is over and bring on the new year. Youk, now over at first has become a great little spark plug for this Sox team - this sox team without the likes of Coco. His hard work over the off-season has clearly paid pff as the man is just a plain old gamer. Once Billy Bean's poster child, Youk is hitting at a .318 clip with an on-base percentage of .426. Not bad for a replacement lead-off hitter. Not only did Youk win the game last night with a rocket double off the center field wall scoring two, he was pissed about it. A defensive miscue at 1st on a tough hop (which was in fact ruled a hit) and a base-running bouffe that turned a Loretta base-hit into a fielders choice was all tthat Youk wanted to talk about after the game. PLAYER! Other news, Stern flashing some leather at the end to save the soon to be president Jonathon Papadap and the end game with the bases loaded, while Papadap himself got his 7th save in 7 chances, recording 2 more Ks in the 9th. Matt Clement, the man I goaded just yesterday as being the wild card of out pitching staff went 7 very strong innings. One bad note of the game, if you could call it that, was TImlin letting in his first runs of the young season - though he did niftily escape a one out man on third situation.

This is indeed a whole new team. More pitching and more defense. But there is still that flare of the old sox. Meanwhile, Manny hit his first extra-base hit last night, which is a good thing and is showing strong signs of breaking out of his early season slump. A little more bang in our line-up is always nice to see.

What I have been most impressed with thusfar in the season has been our starters. I know yesterday I said I was worried about it. But they have been red-hot. Everyone knows of the Schilling/Becket show so far, but take away a bad outing by Wake in Texas and one by Clement and we have had tremendous starts in nearly every game (of course, take out Wells in this equation. We should pay him to fall down the stairs and end his season). In 14 games this season, our starters (Schill, Beckett, Wake, Clement, Wells and DiNardo) have pitched 88.2 out of 126 possible innings. And if you take away the game started by Wells (bc he shouldn't have started) you have the starters going 84.2 of 117 innings or 71.9%. For the record, thee yanks are sitting at (with Johnson, Mussina, Wang, Chacon and Wright at 78/111 or 70% - plus a lower era, less walks, less wild pitches - despite wakefield/bard its 8wp for the yanks and 5 for the sox, lower whip, lower oba, less hits per 9 innings and less walks per 9 innings)

Tonight, we have Schilling on the mound looking to stay perfect. I like his chances. Let's keep thee trend going.

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